Fig. 166.  Diagram showing course of Veneering Hammer.

Fig. 166.- Diagram showing course of Veneering Hammer.

Whenever, as occasionally happens, it is necessary to fasten veneer on end-grain wood, the glue must be well rubbed into this and allowed to dry. By this means the pores of the wood are closed, and the glue which is afterwards applied does not soak in too much. Another plan sometimes adopted when time is an object is to rub the glue in as before, and then, instead of waiting for it to dry naturally, pass a hot iron over. This sears the glue and chokes the wood up as before, but it is hardly such a good plan.

Inlaid and burr veneers cannot be laid with the hammer, but must be done with the hot caul. The paper with which they are either entirely or partially covered should not be removed till they are cleaned up after laying.

It is occasionally necessary to veneer on both sides of a panel; in this case the wood does not require swelling on the back beforehand, as the hot glue being applied to both surfaces renders this superfluous.

Unless a large number of curved pieces requiring correspondingly shaped cauls have to be veneered, it is often not worth while to make a wooden or metal caul, even when the veneer is to be laid by this method. For ordinary purposes what is to all intents a flexible caul may be used with greater convenience. If the worker will remember that what is wanted is equable pressure with heat, he will be helped over many a difficulty, for in veneering, as in other operations, it is absolutely impossible to give specific directions for every case which may arise. One of the most useful substitutes for a wooden or metal caul consists of a stout ticking or canvas bag containing sand. This will adapt itself to any curved work to which it may be applied, and is easily heated to the requisite degree. By placing on it, after it has been put in position, pieces of board which force the sand caul as closely as possible to the veneer, and then applying the hand-screws, any required pressure can be got and maintained.

Various other expedients of a similar character are frequently adopted, but few of them are of such general utility as that mentioned, for with it it will rarely happen that an odd piece of curved work cannot be veneered with ease, and almost as speedily as with a wooden caul.

When the veneer has to adapt itself to a very sharp curve it is sometimes advisable to back it with a piece of calico or canvas, in order to prevent its breaking or splitting.

It is comparatively rarely that cylindrical work has to be veneered, still, as it occasionally happens, it may be well to say that a method which is as good as any for it is, after cutting, glueing, and laying the veneer, to bind it tightly round with ordinary chair webbing. If this is then slightly damped it will draw tight, answering to some extent both as a caul and instead of hand-screws. The work should be placed near a fire, in order that the adhesion may be perfect.

When laying veneers on the rails and stiles of doorframes, which, by the way, is generally done with the hammer, it is advisable to glue strips of paper over the joints and leave them till the glue has become thoroughly set. If this precaution be neglected the joints are almost certain to open as the veneer dries. It may be noted that no harm can result by glueing paper over all joints in veneer. This may not always be necessary, but on the principle of prevention being better than cure many good workers make a practice of never omitting it.

It seems hardly necessary to point out that on door-rails and similar parts the veneer should be laid with its grain running in the same direction as that of the ground wood. This is now generally done, but till very recent years it was no uncommon occurrence to find that the opposite course was adopted. The grain of the veneer, instead of being horizontal or coincident with that of the rails, was perpendicular and parallel with the stiles. This arrangement gives the work an unnatural look, and would not now be tolerated in good work in this country. Cross-grained rails give an impression of weakness, and as a rule the worker should lay veneers with their grain running in the same direction as that of the ground wood. In connexion with this it may be said that almost the only parts which are now veneered differently are plinths and similar parts of round-cornered work, such as chests of drawers, wardrobes, etc. These are often found with the veneer grain perpendicular instead of horizontal; but no doubt even this peculiarity will in due time go the way of other barbarisms in furniture of the early Victorian period.